Grinding your teeth, or bruxism, can result in a host of dental and oral health problems, from damage to your teeth to pain and deterioration in your jawbone. You can grind your teeth during the daytime, or you might be grinding your teeth at night, without even being aware of it. Either way, bruxism can have negative consequences for your health and wellbeing.
Nupur Gupta, DDS and the team at Perfect Smiles Dental of Pleasant Hill can diagnose your bruxism, and get you sorted out with the right treatment options to address the root of your tooth-grinding issues. Here’s what we want our new and existing patients to know about the potential reasons — and treatments — for bruxism.
Risk factors for bruxism
There are a lot of reasons why you could be grinding your teeth, either during the day or at night.
Unconscious sleep bruxism is generally classified as a sleep-related movement disorder. If you have nighttime bruxism, you’re also more likely to encounter other sleep disorders, like sleep apnea or chronic snoring. Sleep bruxism often runs in families, so there may be a genetic factor at work in your risk for teeth-grinding.
If you grind your teeth during the daytime, you might be under a lot of stress, or have problems with anxiety. Emotions, such as stress, anxiety, frustration, and anger, can increase your risks of clenching or grinding your teeth, both during the day and while sleeping.
For some patients, taking psychiatric medications like antidepressants results in bruxism as a side effect. Your risk of bruxism can also go up as a result of using recreational drugs, smoking, or consuming caffeine or alcohol.
And, if you have other physical and mental disorders associated with grinding your teeth, such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, gastroesophageal reflux disorder, or epilepsy, you might find yourself dealing with dental problems as a result of habitual bruxism.
Dental impacts of bruxism
Bruxism causes damaging wear and tear on your teeth, as well as other issues. You might suffer from chronic headaches, temporomandibular joint pain, or pain in your face and ears as a result of bruxism.
In addition to wearing down the outer surfaces of your teeth, bruxism can cause cracks or deeper damage to your teeth, or result in cracks in fillings, crowns, and bridges. Bruxism can also cause you to have loose or painful teeth.
Left untreated, chronic bruxism can result in serious complications, including chronic pain issues and an increased need for extensive dental repairs. Severe bruxism can leave you struggling with chewing, swallowing, and even speaking.
Treatment options for your bruxism
At Perfect Smiles Dental of Pleasant Hill, Dr. Gupta can recommend the best treatment options to resolve your bruxism and protect your teeth and jaw from wear and tear. We offer a full range of preventative care services. You could potentially benefit from:
- Helpful stress-reduction techniques, like yoga or meditation
- A specialized, custom-molded mouthguard or splint to comfortably relieve your symptoms
- Reductive coronoplasty, a procedure that levels and reshapes the biting surface of your teeth to protect them from harmful pressure
- Botox® injections to reduce jaw tension and pain
You can schedule an appointment with Dr. Gupta and the Perfect Smiles Dental of Pleasant Hill team by calling today, or use the online tool to book your session now.